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Friday, April 30, 2010

April in Review - Amy

Time for that pesky monthly check-in on my resolutions for the year....

1. Read the Bible.
I'm still on track with my chronological reading plan. I've done a lot of Psalms recently, mixed in with both Samuels, and am now in Chronicles.

2. Read at least one pleasure reading book per month.
I finished Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen and really liked it. I also sped through and enjoyed The Choice by Suzanne Woods Fisher. I am currently reading My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult (one of my favorite authors). It's actually my second time through the book, but my MOPS book club is reading it this month, and I thought that was a good excuse for a refresher.

3. Join some kind of musical group and perform with them.
Just tonight, I connected with a friend to get more information about the community band she's in. She's going to let me check out the sheet music they're currently playing so I can see just how out of practice I am.

4. Blog daily.
Yay me! I think I'm starting to run out of things to say. :)

5. Get back down to (at least) my pre-pregnancy weight.
Bryn told me the other day that my "belly is starting to get little." At the end of last month, I was at my pre-pregnancy weight. This month, I lost an additional 6 pounds, bringing my grand weight-loss total to 36 pounds. Woo-hoo!

6. Get involved in some kind pf theatre group and help out with at least one production.
No progress here yet.

7. Teach Bryn to read.
She has learned how to spell a few more words but has been more interested in other things. Just this morning, though, she again started lamenting that "But Mom, I don't know how to read those words." So maybe she's about to renew her interest? Anyway, with the end of the school year just around the corner, I should soon have more time to work with her.

8. Potty-train Shay.
We've done a lot of talking about it this month, and she's starting to get interested. I foresee a summer of nakie Shay ahead.

9. Frame our portraits.
Finished in March. I've got about half the prints I want to start a bonus projrct in this area.

10. Finish up some of my murals.
Started working on two of them. Photos to follow at a later date.

11. Paint the kids' bathroom.
Following my self-depricating comment last month about how I didn't even have time to clean it, I purged and organized the closet, cabinet, and drawers in there. I even went so far as to move the paint into the cabinet. :) I went out and purchased masking tape for edging, but any use of said tape, not to mention actual painting, has yet to occur.

12. Get Shay into her big girl room.
Achieved in January. Seriously, I can't believe I still haven't posted pictures on here.

13. Breastfeed Liam.
We've settled into a workable pattern of pumping and bottling, so he's still a 100% breastmilk baby. He actually nurses about once a day and still doesn't like that very much, although he's fighting me on it a lot less. I'm up to 119 bags of breastmilk in the freezer, and he's doing great with his weight gain and is even starting to look a little chubby. So I'll stay with my estimation of about a half a checkmark on this one.

I haven't totally finished balancing our family budget for April yet, but I know that we're going to be able to move more money than I expected into savings at the end of the month--yay! I submitted my application to a masters program in school counseling, only to decide that's probably not actually what I want to do with my life. More on that in another post, but I'm currently working on a grad application in a rather different area--library science. This month also held a partial spring clean of our house and preparations for Liam's dedication at our church, which will occur this weekend.

It's funny--most of the time I don't feel like I'm really accomplishing anything except picking up the kids' toys over and over and over again, but when I do this check-in at the end of the month, I'm usually pretty proud of myself. I guess I'm making more progress than I realize. Here's hoping that I can keep moving forward on these goals!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Museum Thirteen

These 10 kiddos, along with their 3 mommies, made up my Thursday Thirteen today. I met up with my friends Andrea, Joan, and Cathy at the Children's Museum today. We're all veterans of Butler's marching band. Our kids had a great time, and so did the mommies!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wordless Siblings

Suggested captions?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Loves

A quick update for posterity on things that our girls are loving these days:

* Dora the Explorer - Both girls are obsessed, Shay even more so than Bryn. Pretty much every time we go downstairs, Shay tells me that she "want watch Dora." We own 4 Dora DVDs, all of which the girls have pretty much memorized. Bryn likes to play Dora video games and watch more movies at nickjr.com and has expanded her love to include Dora's cousin Diego. Shay is a sucker for any product that has Dora on it. Recent acquisitions include two pairs of Dora shoes, Dora socks, Dora bandaids, and Dora fruit snacks. Apparently brand recognition works on our 2-year-old.

* Pink bagels - meaning cranberry bagels with strawberry cream cheese from Einstein Brothers. This is their absolute favorite lunch after preschool. I can get on board with that, especially if it mens a Club Mex on asiago cheese for me.

* Glee - Ben accuses me of brainwahing them. But really, considering that Bryn spent the first year of her life in a Performing Arts Center with me and has been in love with all things High School Musical ever since then, I'm not surprised. Even Shay loves to watch what she calls "Gee." Good thing I own the season 1 DVD, because we just watch the singing parts, as the plot is not ideal for small children. :)

* Miss Pattycake - thanks to a DVD Bryn randomly grabbed at the church library. I find it to be as annoying as any other children's show that expects the viewers to "interact" with it, but th girls are in love with it.

* water bottles - I picked up these great water bottles at Dollar General a few weeks ago, thinking they would work for Bryn's "water breaks" during soccer, and ended up having to go back to stock up. They have lids that open and close to prevent spillage, but the actual drinking is done out of a straw. They also have small cups that screw onto the bottom and hold snacks (usually Goldfish crackers for us). The girls' favorite part is that they have cloth straps on them, so they each carry their own cup like a purse. Bryn's cups are pink and Shay's are blue, as those were the only two colors at the store.

* Liam - He's nearly 2 months old, and they still delight in showing everyone we see their "new baby brother." Both of them love to hold him and "help" give him bottles. (Bryn actually can help in this arena. Shay, not so much.) If he so much as peeps, they inform the nearest adult that he is crying and needs help. Bryn also loves to brush his hair, which Ben fears will become a gateway to dressing him up and putting makeup on him when they get bigger. :)

* heart candy - This obsession with conversation hearts started just before Valentine's Day. Ben picked up several tubs of it on clearance shortly thereafter, and it has kept the girls happy for the past two months. We're down to the last few crumbs in the last tub though, and I sense some meltdowns coming on when I will non longer be able to provide them with their favorite treat.

* pictures and videos of themselves - Pretty much any time the girls find me near a computer, they ask to look at pictures or videos of themselves. Narcisism is alive and well at our house. Shay particularly likes videos of when she was "little," meaning last year.

* Hannah - Currently their favorite friend. She and Bryn have always gotten along beautifully, although now they are starting to do that little girl bickering thing where they say they are fighting, then have made up and are happily playing again two minutes later. Shay thinks that Hannah is the coolest. She has named one of her dolls after her, and the other night she informed me that Hannah was her best friend.

* outside - Even when it's raining, all they want to do is play outdoors. Favorite outdoor activities include bubbles, sidewalk chalk, swinging, their playhouse, our next-door neighbors, and dandelions.

* cuddling - Bryn has always been a big fan, but Shay is usually too on-the-go. Recently, though, she has started requesting cuddles and loves nothing more than to be rocked or held. I think it's a reaction to the baby arriving. All I know for sure is that my lap is usually full.

I'm sure I could keep going, but one thing I love (and don't get enough of lately--go figure with three small children!) is sleep, so I'm off to do that.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Big Sister Shay

After almost 2 1/2 years of being the little sister (which generally means being bossed around by Bryn), Shay is loving her new role of "big sister"! She loves holding Liam (with parental supervision), bringing him bottles, and telling everyone about her "baby brudder." I love hearing her chipper little "Hi Baby Liam!" in the morning, and here's some cuteness that occurred the other night:

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Rain

Rain, rain, go away -
Bryn and Shaylee want to play!






Saturday, April 24, 2010

Big Bed, Part 3

As you could probably tell from my previous posts here and here, I just can't resist photographing a little man in a big bed.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Wherefore Art Thou, Tistafer?

Ben took this video a little over a year ago, at the very end of March 2009. We'd had a long day. We had been to the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago and had then stopped off at Fair Oaks Farm on the way back to Indy. When we got back to town, we made a quick stop to drop off an un-grilled cheese sandwich (made with Fair Oaks' amazing aged cheddar) to our friend Cathy and to meet baby Sam, who was just a few days old. We kept the visit short, since we were worn out from our long day and Cathy and Eric were worn out from having a newborn. But Bryn (then age 3) and Christopher had apparently just gotten in to some game or another, and our exhausted child was absolutely distraught when we made her leave her beloved "Tistafer" to go home.

This video captured what happened after we got home. Ben got her into her princess pajamas, and then Bryn dragged her little chair over to her window and stared forlornly out into the night, longing for her friend. It was very reminiscent of the balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet, and I swear I wouldn't have been surprised to hear her sigh, "Tistafer, Tistafer, wherefore art thou, Tistafer?"

video

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Rock Star, Part 2

While this picture does not show Liam sporting the same rock star hair that he tried out a few weeks ago, this is a rock star shirt... in that it has both guitars and a star. Apparently this is enough to convince Bryn of its coolness; she has been singing "rock star ba-by!" and playing air guitar around him all day.

As a side note, I haven't posted many pictures lately because I "lost" our camera. Never fear, though--I recovered it from the depths of my car today.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Self-Portrait

This week's Wordless Wednesday.... a self-portrait by Bryn. Cracks me up! Suggested captions?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Date Night

I really need to thank my wonderful sister Kristin, who spent tonight babysitting for us so that Ben and I could go on a date night. Our last date night was a little over two months ago, a couple of weeks before the birth of Liam. Both then and now, we did our date at Bonefish Grill, which is both incredibly yummy and really a place that's not all that easy to go with the kids in tow. Let me tell you, it felt really different to go tonight than it did two months ago. For starters, I'm 35-40 pounds lighter than I was then. And I'm not in constant pain now, which makes date night a lot more fun. And I can go more than 20 minutes at a time without having to go to the bathroom. :)

Date night was wonderful for many reasons: I got some time away from the kids. I got to eat a delicious dinner. I got to actually have a conversation with my husband.... more significantly, one that wasn't punctuated every 30 seconds by a child either interrupting or crying. And on the way home, I got a new phone.

Last week, one of the keys broke off my Blackberry Pearl. We stopped at the Verizon store on the way home tonight, in hopes of getting it repaired. We learned that we were all of 5 days past our one-year warranty period, so it would cost us $50 to repair it. (Meanwhile, if I'd taken it in the day that it broke, it probably would have been covered.... grrr.) So our choices were pay $50 to either repair it or get a new-to-me version of the same phone, or pay $50 and get a brand-new phone. So I am now the owner of a Blackberry Curve. I haven't used it yet, so I can't say how I like it, but new toys are always fun!

All in all, a really great night with my wonderful husband. Thanks to Kristin for making it possible!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Introductions

Back in December of 2008, Ben and I purchased a Flip video camera as a Christmas present to ourselves. Now, a mere 16 months later, I'm finally getting around to doing something with the videos. Yeah, we've been busy....

Anyway, most of them wouldn't be interesting to anyone except us since they are no longer timely, but I thought this one from February of 2009 was cute by way of "introductions." In the video, Bryn is 3 years old. At that time, "baby Shaylee Grace" was 14 months old. Enjoy!

video

Sunday, April 18, 2010

95

Today I rearranged our deep freeze because it was overflowing. While doing so, I took a count of how many bags of breastmilk I have frozen. In the past 6 weeks and 6 days, Liam has eaten so much that everyone who sees him comments on how chubby he's starting to get. But I have also managed to freeze 95 bags of breastmilk, each 6 ounces.

95 bottles of milk in the freezer, 95 bottles of milk, take one out and feed the boy, 94 bottles of milk in the freezer....

Yeah, that's a lot. Moo.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Looking Back

After doing my last post, where the Friday Fill-In led me to reflect on the romantic beginnings of my relationship with Ben, I got inspired to go scan the pictures I mentioned so I could post them.

Here's my picture of the big "I love Amy" in the bleachers of the Butler Bowl in December of 2000:
(the A is overlaid on the big B in the middle)

And here we are at our wedding, overlooking the same football field, in June of 2004:

I wish I had a picture of us with the kids to post as a "now" shot.... I guess that will have to be a task for our next BU outing! :)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Fill-In

It's been a while since I've done a Friday Fill-In, so here goes....

1. I'd like to sleep all the way through the night uninterrupted and wake up feeling refreshed (but I'm guessing this isn't going to happen for the next several months).

2. One of my most favorite romantic memories is the first time that Ben told me he loved me. It was finals week in December of my senior year at Butler. I had finished all of my tests that day. There was a huge snowfall, and that night, the Butler Bowl (since leveled and remodeled, sniff sniff) was full of people sledding, using everything from cafeteria trays to garbage bags as sleds. I was chatting with some friends when one of them pointed behind me at Ben. He was walking methodically through the bleachers on the opposite side of the field, spelling out words with his footprints. There were five sections of bleachers, and he spelled out "I (heart) AMY," one letter to each section. Everyone watching started to whistle and cheer as he climbed down, and we met up on the 50 yard line (perfect for people who met in marching band). I have a picture of the letters that I took the next morning, and we have it framed next to a picture of the two of us at the same football field on our wedding day.

3. Last night, I had salad and leftover meatball sandwiches from the yummy dinner that Amy H. made us for dinner.

4. Sorry for the lack of kid pictures over the last few days.

5. Can we go to sleep now?

6. One of my worst temptations is eating out; ordering whatever I want off a menu and then not having to clean up is hard to resist!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to going to bed (rest of the night is already over, but it included soccer practice and dinner with friends, so it was a good one), tomorrow my plans include errands, a nap, and a birthday party, and Sunday, I want to go to church, take another nap, and tackle some household projects.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Designer

Ben passed on this article (entitled "Designer Babies, Designer God") to me, and I found it so interesting that I wanted to share it with all of you as well. I can't swear to its factuality, but I found it to be very thought-provoking. It resonated with me as a mom, as one who has suffered miscarriages, and as a Christian. I think I'll be reading her blog in the future as well.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

"Glee" Love

The best show on television returned last night. That's right, "Glee" is back. The following video clip demonstrates what I love about this show.... singing, dancing, teen drama, what's not to love? :)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Big Bed, Part 2

About a month ago, I posted a picture of Liam in his crib and commented on how he was a "little man in a big bed." But if you thought that was cute, check out these pictures of him in our king-sized bed!!


Disclaimer: The baby was placed in our bed for playing and cuddling purposes only. We promise he does not sleep in there. Even though Bryn requests to sleep with him nightly. Because yes, our 4-year-old does sleep with us every night. But that's another story.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Rock Star

At 6 weeks old, he's already got a mohawk and has started the habit of falling asleep while clutching a bottle. Should Mommy be worried? Looks like we might have a future rock star on our hands.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunday Song - "The Stand"

We've sung "The Stand" by Michael W. Smith several times at church lately. I have really enjoyed it, so I thought I'd pass it along to all of you. :)



"The Stand" by Michael W. Smith
You stood before creation
Eternity within Your hand
You spoke all life into motion
My soul now to stand

You stood before my failure
Carried the cross for my shame
My sin weighed upon Your shoulders
My soul now to stand

So what can I say?
What can I do?
But offer this heart, O God,
Completely to You

So I'll walk upon salvation
Your Spirit alive in me
This life to declare Your promise
My soul now to stand

So I'll stand with arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the One who gave it all
So I'll stand, my soul, Lord, to you surrendered
All I am is Yours

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Three

I wanted a picture of all three of our sweet kiddos together. While attempting to get one, I learned that it is pretty much a physical impossibility to get all three of them to look at the camera AND smile at the same time. This is the best I could get. The girls' smiles look really forced, and Bryn is the only one looking at the camera, but at least no one is crying. :)

Friday, April 09, 2010

Soccer Mom

It's official: I'm a soccer mom.

This year we signed Bryn up for a 4-year-old soccer team with her friends Chris and Emily. Tonight was their first practice. We had registration on Tuesday, and all the kids got their very own soccer balls. Bryn has been playing with hers all week, kicking it around the house. She even slept with it last night. So yeah, she's been pretty excited to get started.

She talked about soccer all day today and kept asking me if it was time to go. I thought she was going to go through the roof with excitement when I put on her shin guards. In the car on the way there, she started cheering for herself. "Yay Bryn! Go Bryn! That is how you cheer for soccer players," she informed me.

Shay was just as excited as her sister. Wheb we pulled into the parking lot, she started cheering for "soccer game." She ran out onto the field as soon as we got there, and Ben and I had to forcibly remove her several times. I think we're going to have to get another soccer ball for her to kick around with the other younger siblings on the sidelines in future weeks.

Upon arriving tonight, Bryn got her jersey, shorts, and soccer socks. All were a little too big for her, and since hers are green, she ended up looking a little bit like a frog. :) She loved chasing the ball and kicking it during the early drills, but she refused to even try to stop the ball with her head because it was "all wet" from the grass.

When the coach broke the kids up into two teams and attempted to have them play, Bryn got all upset. Apparently she does not understand the fundamental concept of team sports: trying to take the ball from other players. She was reduced to tears because "the other kids are not sharing with me!" and "I didn't get a turn!" Whoops, apparently all our lessons on sharing have backfired. She then wanted me to come out on the field with her and hold her hand and, apparently, force the other kids to "share" the ball with her. Not exactly a sign of a future professional athlete.

She did do better when they moved on and each kid got to use their own ball again to practice shooting goals. She was still all polite though--she moved into position in front of the goal, then stepped aside to let all the other kids on her team shoot before her. When she finally did get around to kicking, we and all our friends cheered loudly for her, and she really perked up after that.

All in all, if I had to hazard a guess, I'd say that Bryn might have inherited my lackluster approach to athletics. She looked at her coach like he was insane every time he tried to get the players pumped up tonight (and I'm fairly certain that I had the same expression on my own face). But she was very proud of herself for playing, and she at least participated (instead of wandering off to pick dandelions, which is what I remember doing during my own soccer-playing days). Even if she's not going to turn into a star athlete, she did have a lot of fun tonight!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Making Shay Happy

Today Shay woke up from her nap crying. As I was pumping at the time, I asked Bryn if she could "go make Shay happy" until I was done. We've been in this situation before, and it usually involves Bryn turning on a cd for Shay or "reading" her a book.

Not today!

When I walked into Shay's room mere 15 minutes later, I found that Bryn had appeased her with stuffed animals. Or, to be more specific, with every single stuffed animal that she owns. Seriously, I could hardly find Shay in the sea of toys.

I was able to witness the addition of the last two animals. It involved Bryn standing in Shay's closet and throwing the toys with all her might, banking them off the wall and into the crib. And both girls laughing hysterically.

After all the toys were in there, Bryn asked me to lift her into the crib so she could play too. I don't know how she even made the space to sit down, but both girls certainly had a fabulous time.

(That's Shay's head behind the stuffed dog. She refused to stop playing long enough to look at me.)
They also had a great time throwing all the toys out of the crib later. My time putting all the toys away was less than fabulous, but I'm willing to pay that price for Making Shay Happy!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Remembering the BSC

A dear friend of mine, Katie, is a sixth grade teacher and an aspiring school librarian. She has recently started a blog which reviews young adult literature. Since I must admit that YA lit is one of this English teacher's guilty pleasures, I have been loving reading her blog and have been using it to compile a list of "light reads" (none of which I've actually gotten to yet, but I do have the best of intentions).

Recently she posted about the joys that the Babysitters Club brought to all our childhoods and Ann M. Martin's plans to re-release the series for a new generation of kids to enjoy. Her reminiscences pretty much made me want to run down the basement and dig out my old BSC books. (Thus far I have refrained from doing so.)

Best of all, though, is the website that she stumbled across, entitled What Claudia Wore. If you want a trip down memory lane while being able to have a hearty laugh at what your elementary school self thought was cool, you will have to check it out.

Melissa, remember the time you read all of Goodbye, Stacy, Goodbye while waiting to go to the pool? And I remember packing dozens of BSC books for every car trip. Along with Sweet Valley High. And Nancy Drew. I know my father is probably twitching as he reads this, as he wanted me to read more challenging things even back then, so he's probably horrified by the idea of my adult self returning to such juvenile time-wasters. Alicia is likely rolling her eyes and thanking her lucky stars that she never read anything so girly or silly. And I kind of shudder at the thought of any of my other teacher friends (or former students) reading these confessions. Like I said, it's a guilty pleasure. Okay, so each series pretty much had a formula that every book in the series followed, and I could zip through each of them in an hour or two, but somehow they were still completely lovable. Ah, the memories. :)

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Pounding

Yesterday I had the worst headache of my whole life.

I had never had a migraine until I was pregnant with Bryn, when a 5-day monster kept me largely bedridden before my doctor prescribed migraine pills. Migraines were a constant companion for my second trimester of that pregnancy, but they miraculously disappeared after having her. I didn't have another one until I was pregant with Shay.

I figured, okay, I only get migraines during pregnancy. Just another side effect to deal with, likely due to all the hormonal shifts. They'll go away when the baby comes.

But they didn't.

I continued to have migraines in the two years between Shay and Liam, and when I got pregnant with him, they upped the ante, appearing almost daily until a few weeks into the third trimester.

I was so hopeful that they'd be a thing of the past after Liam arrived. But yesterday's was a record-breaker. It started while the kids and I were at the zoo with our friend Lauren. I thought it was just a regular headache, maybe from being out in the sun or something, and popped some Tylenol. (Note: I would have preferred Advil, which is WAY more effective, but it also encourages bleeding, which I've been trying to avoid with my head wound.)

By the time we got in the car to head home, the ache had worsened. I knew where it was headed. I took my migraine medicine as soon as we got home. I drank a bunch of water, wondering if maybe I was dehydrated. I threw the girls in bed, let Liam continue to sleep in his carseat in my room, pumped some milk, laid down myself, and waited for the migraine meds to work their magic. Nothing.

Let it be said that my migraine pills are Midrin, which is the wimpiest migraine medicine out there--which is why it's also the only one that's safe during pregnancy and (I think) nursing. I am supposed to take 2 pills at the onset of the migraine, and if that doesn't kick it, 1 pill an hour after that, until it goes away or up to 6 pills, whichever comes first. Occassionally I've had to do a third pill, and even a fourth once or twice, but never over that.

So I laid in my bed, head throbbing, forcing myself to get up to bottle Liam when he cried. After an hour, my headache had soared to new heights. I took another pill. Nothing. More pumping. The girls woke up and I settled them in front of a movie, navigating as best I could with the sunbursts exploding behind my eyes. At somewhat of a loss for what else to try, I drank some Coke, because the caffeine usually helps a lot in speeding up my migraine recoveries. It squished around uncomfortably in my stomach. I forced down some peanut butter toast, hoping that food would help.

As soon as Ben got home from work, I took a third pill and laid down again, desperately hoping for the sweet oblivion of sleep. I laid a cold washcloth at my head, then marvelled that it stayed in place. I reached up to touch my own head several times and was repeatedly surprised to find that I was laying still. I concluded that my overwhelming sense of vertigo must be from the room spinning around me, and I tried to lay still while the world tipped and whirled. Outside my window, thunder rumbled. My head pulsated. Another hour.

Cloudburst. Pounding rain. Pounding head. I stumbled to the top of the stairs to check on the kids, as they are occassionally afraid of bad storms. They were totally happy, watching a Dora DVD, eating popcorn, and cuddling their SuperDad. I drank more water, took another pill, and laid back down. The room continued to spin, and my head banged in time with the storm. I wondered if the headache could be caused by the rapid change in weather. I know that's possible with migraines, but it had never happened to me before.

Ben came up to check on me. He suggested that if I couldn't sleep because of the headache, that I should do some quiet activity to try to distract myself. I cautiously crept across the room to my rocking chair. I kept off the lights, because light hurt my eyes. I drank more water. I wrapped my entire head in a heating pad, trying to soothe it. I watched an episode of "Glee." I pumped yet more milk, my head pulsating in time with the pump. The ache expanded from my head to the base of my neck. I had a small snack. I cuddled Shay and kissed her good night. I took another pill. I thought about throwing up and wondered if it would make me feel any better.

I laid down next to Bryn. She stroked my hair, kissed more forehead, and said she hoped my "owie head" would get better soon. She fell asleep. My head pounded. The room spun. At some point, I finally fell asleep.

I woke up to pump more milk. I cautiously crossed the room to my rocking chair. I took my 6th pill. Carefully, I made my way downstairs and sat with Ben on the couch to watch the end of the heartbreaker Butler-Duke game. At this point, I knew I couldn't take any more pills. The ache had expanded so far that my teeth throbbed. I crawled back into bed and fell blessedly asleep with the room still spinning around me.

I woke up to the sound of Liam crying around 2:00. I gave him a bottle and rocked him back to sleep. The headache had retreated to just my head, leaving my teeth and neck alone. The room only spun when I was standing, remaining largely stationary while I sat. I considered this a good sign.

Back to bed. Up again with Liam around 4:00. He settled down relatively quickly. I pumped again. The throbbing in my head was no longer quite so intense. Back to bed. Moderate spinning of the room as I laid down rocked me back to sleep.

Up with my alarm at 6:45. I felt like I just had a normal headache instead of a migraine, so I took some Tylenol and moved on with my morning. I was still dizzy but found it to be bearable as long as I moved nice and slow. I headed out for the dermatologist, where I got my stitches removed. Great--then my head hurt on the inside AND the outside. Then home to get Shay and Liam from Ben, then onward to a MOPS steering meeting, where my wonderful friend Cathy dropped off Bryn after picking her up from preschool. Then a rush home to meet my brother, who was dropping off some of his stuff to put in storage in our basement before departing for his cross-country move to California. Lunch, and thank goodness, naps. Liam actually cooperated with naptime, and after I laid down for a bit, the dizziness felt much better. After naps, a mad dash for Bryn's dance class, followed by registration for soccer, both with all 3 kids in tow. And interspersed in this whole day were various sessions of both pumping and nursing. All in all, I can't wait for bedtime, and I'm crossing all my fingers and toes that maybe Liam will at least allow for a decent stretch of sleep tonight.

With all of today's chaos, it would have made sense if I got a headache. Yesterday, though, I can figure no rhyme or reason for, especially one of such epic proportions.

Anybody have advice (other than the many things I tried) on how to get rid of a migraine? Because yikes, I don't ever want to have one like that again!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Happy Easter!

Liam says, "Happy Easter, everybody!"

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Go Dawgs! (Final Four)

So I was actually looking for a video of how the basketball team sang the War Song in the locker room after their BIG WIN, but I happened across this instead....


We'll sing the Butler War Song,
We'll give a fighting cry,
We'll fight the Butler Battle -
Bulldogs ever do or die!
And in the glow of
The victory firelight
History cannot deny
To add a page or two
For the Butler fighting crew
Beneath the Hoosier sky!

Friday, April 02, 2010

March in Review - Amy

Time for my monthly check-in to see how I'm doing with this year's resolutions...

1. Read the Bible.
Largely thanks to the many hours I spend parked in my rocking chair with the boy, I'm completely on track with my reading plan. I'm about halfway through Judges right now.

2. Read at least one pleasure reading book per month.
I actually read several this month. No "heavy lifting" due to the sleep deprivation, but several easy, quick reads. Most notable is Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen, which I just started a few days ago and am only halfway through, but am really enjoying so far.

3. Join some kind of musical group and perform with them.
Still no progress on this one, although it's becoming more possible now that I'm starting to get my air supply back. :)

4. Blog daily.
Given my weird baby hours, I don't think it's actually been once on each calendar date, but I do think I've posted an equal number of times as there have been days, if that makes any sense. I would call that particularly impressive, as most of my typing these days (including this) has been done one-handed while holding Liam.

5. Get back down to (at least) my pre-pregnancy weight.
Check! Unbelievable, I know. I gained 30 pounds during pregnancy, and by the time Liam was 2 weeks old, I had already lost 25 of those. I can partially thank the flu that I got when he was a week old for that, and nursing also helps to burn those calories (possibly why I never lost the weight with Shay...). The following 2 weeks have taken care of the final 5 pounds. I'm excited to see where I might end up once I'm allowed to start exercising (6 weeks postpartum)!

6. Get involved with some kind of theatre group and help out with at least one production.
I don't exactly have the most flexible of schedules these days, as I am currently functioning as a mama moo cow for Liam, but hopefully I will have more adaptability in the next few months. Anybody know a local theatre group they'd like to recommend?

7. Teach Bryn to read.
Not much progress on this one this month. She's learned to spell a few more words and really enjoys writing them, but we're not progressing as fast as I expected. With everything else going on, that's probably not so surprising to anyone but me!

8. Potty-train Shay.
Nope. We're back to 2 kids in diapers all the time, and now 3 at night. The good people at Pampers must love us.

9. Finish up some of my murals.
Zero progress here. Maybe next month....

10. Frame our portraits.
Finished last month!

11. Paint the kids' bathroom.
Are you kidding? It would be a miracle if I managed to clean it....

12. Get Shay into her big girl room.
Moved in January!

13. Breastfeed Liam.
Not going so well. He sort of hates nursing. He keeps pulling off and crying (and he hardly ever cries normally), and he does this hyperventilating thing that kind of freaks me out. So mostly I'm pumping every 3 hours and giving him bottles, with an occassional nursing session thrown in there when he's awake at the appropriate time and I'm feeling brave. While this is time-consuming and hardly ideal, he's obviously thriving. At his most recent doctor's visit, we learned that he's up to 9 pounds and 14 ounces--which is a pound and a half weight gain in a mere 2 weeks! Plus our deep freeze is rapidly filling up with bags of frozen breastmilk, so I have high hopes that I won't have to continue this pumping thing for a full year but will still be able to give him the benefit of breatmilk for that long. This isn't exactly how I had hoped things would go, but we're making it work. So I'd give this one about half a check.

Besides all of that, we can check off childbirth, Mohs surgery, and the GRE in March, so all in all, I'd say it was pretty productive. :)

March in Review - Liam

1 - William David born! 8 lb 2 oz, 20.5 inches at Clarian North Hospital in Carmel

2 - fluid in stomach, doesn't want to eat

3 - home from hospital to house in Bburg

4 - drinking well from Haberman bottle

5 - first appointment with Dr. Z--very healthy, but down to 7 lb 9 oz

6 - nursing a little better, but doesn't seem to like it as much as the bottle

7 - Grammy Tina comes to visit

8 - 7 lb 13 oz, still 20.5 inches

9 - sponge bath by Daddy (with "help" from Bryn)

10 - loses stump of umbilical cord

11 - up most of the night

12 - rolls from belly to back--twice!

13 - attends Emily J's birthday party--and sleeps through the whole thing

14 - up all night with Mommy

15 - 8 lb 5 oz, 21.5 inches, head 14.75 inches

16 - Nana Helen visits

17 - usually falls asleep in carseat when driving around

18 - up all night with Daddy--mostly sleeping in carseat when he does fall asleep

19 - dinner with Aunt Kristin

20 - Jordan W's birthday party--more sleeping for Liam

21 - Aunt Jill and Uncle Jim come to visit

22 - pinkeye?

23 - Mohs surgery for Mommy; Jill and Jim babysit

24 - play with Sara and Lyla R all day

25 - every single diaper has poop in it, always

26 - won't nap at the same time as his sisters

27 - Grammy Tina visits

28 - Nana Helen visits

29 - GRE for Mommy; Nana Helen babysits

30 - Bryn claims that she heard Liam say "garlic"

31 - 9 lb 14 oz (50th percentile), 22.5 inches (75th percentile), head 15.5 inches (75th percentile)

March in Review - Shay

1 - baby brother Liam born! Shay meets and holds him.

2 - plays with Aunt Kristin all day and visits Mommy and Liam in the hospital

3- plays with the Willmans. Mommy and Liam come home!

4 - likes to help Liam by bringing his pacifier

5 - 28 lbs, 35 inches

6 - loves to sort coins from one container to another

7 - Shay and Bryn enjoy playing together alone in the front room all evening--without fighting!

8 - having fun with visit from Grammy

9 - insists on climbing into carseat (in way back of van) all "self"

10 - "Shay blue eyes. Mommy blue eyes. Grammy brown eyes."

11 - loves to look at pictures of princesses and say their names

12 - loves to call Mommy her "sunshine"

13 - Emily J's birthday party--Shay wants to spend all night playing with the kitchen set

14 - wants to pick out her own colored socks every day

15 - pinkeye! Lots of crusties in eyes.

16 - loves to play outside with sand table

17 - up repeatedly in the night, wanting reassurance

18 - end of Nana Helen's visit

19 - has become very clingy with Mommy since Liam was born

20 - Jordan W's birthday party--Shay eats huge amount of Cheetos

21 - loves to put Liam's pacifiers in her own mouth

22 - Aunt Jill and Uncle Jim visit; Shay very excited to show them her things

23 - Mommy's Mohs surgery--Jill and Jim babysit

24 - play with Sara and Lyla R all day

25 - insists on wearing bathing suit over clothes

26 - out to lunch at McDonald's for Sam W's 1st birthday--Shay loves blue dragon toy from Happy Meal and insists on sleeping with it

27 - Grammy Tina visits and tells stories about when she was little

28 - Nana Helen visits--Shay is very excited to play with dog Ginger

29 - gets Dora bike helmet and wants to wear it all the time

30 - dyes Easter eggs

31 - plays with Chris, Sam, Brett, and Parker

March in Review - Bryn

Here's what we've got on Bryn's calendar for March:

1 - baby brother Liam born! Bryn meets and holds him.

2 - learns about sense of smell at school. Plays with Aunt Kristin all day and visits Mommy & Liam in the hospital.

3 - plays with the Willmans. Mommy and Liam come home!

4 - learns about sense of hearing at school. Likes to help give Liam bottles.

5 - 38.2 pounds, 41 1/2 inches

6 - Mommy, Daddy, Bryn, Liam, Dagny, Tela, and Aunt Kristin's dog Saide all go to sleep together in Mommy's room

7 - would play on the computer all day if we let her--spends the afternoon playing one of Daddy's civilization games

8 - enjoying visit from Grammy Tina

9 - learns about sense of touch at school

10 - learns about the letter K at school (king, key, kangaroo)

11 - finishes studying numbers 1-10 at school

12 - throws handfuls of coins in the air and pretends they are fireworks

13 - Emily J's birthday party--Bryn loves the Strawberry Shortcake party hats and cake

14 - proud of being able to get into her carseat in the "way back" of the van by herself

15 - loves to play outside with sand table. Nana Helen visits.

16 - loves to carry around pink "bunny" purse

17 - loves to play "cheerleader" with pompoms

18 - learns about rain, rainbows, and umbrellas at school

19 - no longer thinks that she is having babies.... but tells Mommy that she wants her to have another one soon

20 - Jordan W's birthday party--Bryn fascinated by watching "Alvin and the Chipmunks"

21 - incredibly whiny and clingy with Mommy since the birth of Liam

22 - pinkeye! home for the day to try to recover

23 - Aunt Jill and Uncle Jim visit--Bryn talks nonstop!

24 - plays with Sara and Lyla R all day

25 - goes to White River Gardens to see the butterflies

26 - loves to water the seeds she planted with Daddy and watch them grow

27 - Grammy Tina visits and tells stories about when she was little

28 - loves drawing with sidewalk chalk. Nana Helen visits.

29 - gets 2-wheel bike and a princess helmet... and rides the bike out of the store!

30 - dyes Easter eggs

31 - plays on swingset with Parker S

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Looks Like Spring

Just a few of the recent signs that spring is in the air...

realxing in the sunshine

swinging

riding bikes

playing outside